American Cancer Society’s signature event to unite the community in the fight against cancer is here! The American Cancer Society and citizens in Washington County are rallying together to fight cancer by hosting Relay For Life. There is something for everyone at this year’s event which will be held on Friday and Saturday, June 11 and 12 at Salem Community School’s Paul A. Graves Athletic Field.
The public’s involvement at the actual event is vital to Relay For Life’s success. Everyone is invited to join in the event which reminds community members to celebrate, remember, and fight back!
The opening ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. at the track. After opening speeches by Christie Luckett & Austin Luckett (cancer survivor), all survivors and their caretakers will officially kick off the event with the Survivor’s Victory Lap.
Immediately following the Opening Ceremony, the celebration gets into full swing! The weekend will be jam packed with fun activities for adults and children to enjoy. Live entertainment on Friday night includes Ronald McDonald’s “Go Active” performance at 7 p.m., Janet Lynn Hattabaugh at 7:45 p.m., and Jacqueline Brown & Christian Thompson at 8:45 p.m. There are many other activities taking place such as the arrival of the Relay Ladies at 7:30 p.m., water balloon volleyball at 8 p.m., and a Race Car Driver outfit contest to celebrate this year’s theme of “Racing to Find a Cure” at 9 p.m.
Food will be available for the public and team members throughout the evening for a donation.
Onsite fundraising will be a key component of this year’s event and individual teams have many different items and activities available at their campsites stationed around the track. Be sure to check them out!
From 7 p.m. to midnight, a silent auction will be held. There are many Items in the auction including several pieces of furniture, ½ hour massage donated by Richards Chiropractic Spine & Joint Center, autographed Bobby Knight picture/plaque, Merle Norman gift bags, picnic basket, lead crystal glassware, Kyle Bush life size cutout, wall sconces, and much more.
At the heart of Relay For Life is the Luminaria Ceremony, which will begin at 9:30 p.m. on Friday evening. Luminaria are small candlelit bags decorated with the names of people who have faced cancer. A very special and moving Luminaria Ceremony is planned. The track will be darkened and silence will be requested. Luminaria will be placed on the track and lit one by one as the names are read aloud by Sara Shields and Tom Scifres. Special bagpipe music will be played by Jimmy Morgan during the ceremony. Luminaries are currently available through any team member or at Dan Mar Family Pharmacy, 47 Public Square. They will be available at the event on Friday evening for a limited time. New this year is the addition of sky lanterns. This is an exciting way to honor or remember your loved ones. The sky lanterns will be lit and released as part of the Luminaria Ceremony. You can purchase them at the Relay Friday evening or by calling Terri Suvak at 883-5563.
After the Luminaria Ceremony, activities will resume, including karaoke from 10:30 p.m. until 1:30 a.m., “Fear Factor” Team Challenge at 10:45 p.m., Euchre tournament at 11 p.m., and a limbo contest at midnight. Teams will also be designing and building their own race cars and will participate in the “Relay 500” race at 12:30 a.m.